Ariadne Labs has announced nine recipients of the Ariadne Labs Spark Grant innovation awards. The Spark Grant program provides support for new and early-stage ideas focused on addressing gaps in health care and improving delivery of care. This year two women’s health focused projects were among the recipients.

Five projects funded by Harvard Medical School (HMS) Dean’s Innovation Grants in Health Care Delivery were among the recipients. HMS Dean’s Innovation Grants are supporting innovations in home-based palliative care, postpartum care for patients who deliver via cesarean section in rural Africa, equity in oncology, and monitoring for complications following recovery from tuberculosis.

Asaf Bitton, MD, MPH, Executive Director of Ariadne Labs explains: “At Ariadne Labs, innovation is core to everything we do. We are committed to investing and supporting early-stage ideas that can bring health systems innovation to other areas of health care delivery. These grantees play a critical role in identifying the gaps where the health care system is not working, and developing scalable, systems-level solutions to deliver high quality care to every patient everywhere.”

Harvard Medical School Dean George Q. Daley, MD, PhD adds: “Innovative approaches that reshape health care delivery, patient outcomes, and human lives needn’t always come from cutting-edge technologies or the latest breakthrough in science. Indeed, some of the most transformative solutions can often arise from creative, yet simple, new ways of tackling long-standing challenges. This is precisely the type of innovation that these catalytic grants promise to enable.”

Ariadne Labs Spark Grant Innovation Award Recipients with a Focus on Women’s Health are:

  1. Beyond Birth: Optimizing the Transition from Obstetric to Primary Care

Chloe Zera MD, MPH, Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Beth Israel Lahey Health, Associate Professor, Harvard Medical School
Ann Celi MD, MPH, Division of General Medicine and Primary Care, Division of Women’s Health, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital Assistant Professor, Harvard Medical School

The transition from obstetric to ongoing primary care represents a key opportunity to reduce short- and long-term adverse outcomes following birth and delivery. This project aims to design and test a solution to close integration gaps during this period between obstetric and primary care providers. In year one of the project, the team designed a prototype of a workbook to guide the birthing person and their provider through the postpartum care plan over time and began a qualitative study of patients’ perceptions of their health care needs after delivery. In year two, the team will refine the tool further, test the feasibility, acceptability, and perceived utility of the tool, and complete collection and analysis of qualitative patient input. The team will also develop a provider implementation guide and patient education resources.

2. Protocols for Safe Postpartum Care at Home for Women Delivering by Cesarean Section in Rural Africa

Bethany Hedt-Gauthier PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, Harvard Medical School; Associate Professor, Department of Biostatistics, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Global protocols for cesarean sections detail standards of care for the procedure and hospitalization, but do not provide guidelines for after discharge. This gap is particularly harmful for women as many complications, such as surgical site infections which are common in sub-Saharan Africa, occur after discharge. This project will build a foundation for developing postpartum care protocols to improve consistency in discharge messages and quality of care. In year one of this work, the team completed a scoping review and began developing post-discharge instructions. In the second year the team will test the acceptability and feasibility of the instructions with mothers, community health workers, and providers and will develop strategies to effectively communicate the instructions.

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